Turkey to attain peace with efforts of PKK leader Öcalan, says pro-Kurdish HDP

The co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Pervin Buldan on Sunday promised to bring Turkey peace with the efforts of jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan, left-wing news site Gazete Duvar reported.

"We promise Mr. Öcalan; we will all together bring peace; we will obtain peace all together. We promise Mr. Öcalan; peace will come to this country, these lands as a result of your efforts,’’ Buldan said at the HDP headquarters in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district.

Öcalan on Sunday ended a months-long hunger strike by Turkey's pro-Kurdish lawmakers and Kurdish prisoners after calling on the strikers to the protest. Thousands had been on hunger strike demanding an end to the imprisonment and solitary confinement of the PKK leader, who has been held at the island prison of Imrali since 1999, following his conviction over treason.

 “Mr. Öcalan has a great influence on the peoples and public of Turkey, especially the Kurds,’’ the HDP co-chair said, adding, “his call indicates that the goal of the strikes has been reached.’’

Buldan added that nowhere in the world had so many people resigned themselves to hunger for a cause.

“This courage only exists with Kurds, the resistance of the Kurdish people… I believe that the Turkish society will understand Öcalan’s message very well,’’ Buldan said.

The PKK leader was allowed to see his lawyers this month for the first time in eight years.  His first meeting with his lawyers took place in early May, after the justice ministry lifted the restriction, and a second meeting took place on May 22.

The decision by the Turkish government to allow Öcalan to meet his lawyers and release a statement has sparked reports of a new peace process after a breakdown of talks in July 2015 between Ankara and the outlawed PKK. 

The PKK insurgency has killed 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, since 1984.